Friday, December 12, 2008

Um so yeah

Ok, you may have noticed that there have been no posts for over a month. EEK. Sorry. People have been laid off, and those of us still working have been a bit slammed. So, in the new year, we'll try to be back to posting on a semi-regular basis. In the meantime, I don't know. Check out the peeps on our blog roll.

Do tell,

The Editor

Publishing Holiday Happy Hour

Hey kids -

This week's literary event of the week is actually next week, but hell, it's Friday, so we might as well start early. Sarah Reidy over at Soho Press is organizing a massive happy hour at Kings Head Tavern next Thursday so we can all drink our publishing blues away. Word on the street is that beer pong tables have been reserved and drink specials procured. Mention Sarah's name at the door to get a wristband to ensure happy hour prices all night long.

Do tell,

The Editor

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Alfred Hitchcock's Terrifying Sex Life

So, there's a new book out about Hitchcock called Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies. Apparently, old AH has some real issues with the ladies and basically treated the actresses he worked with like crap, even driving more Tippi Hedren into "clinical shock" (whatever the hell that might be). But my favorite bit of info?

"Among the more astonishing revelations is that the filmmaker, who wed lifelong collaborator Alma Reveille in 1926, experienced sex but once in his life — and that occasion produced their only child, Patricia. This, the writer suggests, resulted in Hitchcock's compensating need to harass many of his lovely leading ladies."

UM. Yeah. World famous director. You're telling me there weren't tons of young wanna-be actresses willing to sleep their way into a movie? I mean, I know he started directing in the 30s, but for sure, by the 50s and 60s (ahem, Mad Men) this wouldn't have been at all strange. So, what's up Hitch? Underlying mother issues? Secretly gay? Perhaps an ED issue? I need more information! I hope Donald Spoto's next book is entitled Alfred Hitchcock and His Flaccid Penis. Now, that I would buy in a heartbeat.

--Paige Sexie
Hmm, you know what would be cool? If I were even the slightest bit tech-savvy and could figure out how to give each contributor their own little log-in, so this thing would say things like "posted by ladytron" or "posted by slunchie." Yes, I think that would be awesome. And that I wouldn't be responsible for posting everyone's things myself. And then I wouldn't get mean emails complaining that I neglected to post something and now it's out of date.

If you are smarter than me (not hard), please leave instructions on how I can do this in the comments or email me. Much obliged.

Do tell,

The Editor

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

W: The Memoir?

The AP has an article about the possibility of a Bush memoir...and what the best strategy for it would be. The consensus seems to be that he should wait. You know, until we all stop hating him quite so much. Because apparently, after a few years, we'll all forget what a horrifically bad prez he actually was. I think the only way I would read it would be if he focused on his early days...Bush getting wasted and doing stupid things? Fun to read about it. Bush lying to the American people and creating a shit torm that will probably takes years to get out of it. Yeah, I'm living it. No thanks.

But apparently, waiting is the strategy. For this reason:

"Bush has likened his fate to Harry Truman, highly disliked upon leaving office in 1953 but now virtually iconic in American politics. But it took years for him to gain such affection and Truman's two-volume memoir, published in the 1950s, is less remembered than a book about him published in the 1990s, David McCullough's million-selling Truman."

If we ever get to the day when people look back fondly on W, I'm going to lose a lot of the faith that I gained last night.

On an unrelated note, I just pulled a hair out of coffee. Sigh.


RIP: Michael Crichton

Some sad news on this otherwise extremely happy day (for all us democrats, at least). Michael Crichton passed away yesterday, apparently after a bout with cancer. I have to confess, I have never actually read anything by him (I know, I know), but I've seen jurassic park many a time, and damn, I do love me some ER. Also, fun fact, Crichton was good friends with artist Jasper Johns, who's stuff is amazing, so that makes him even cooler in my book. RIP.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This week's literary event has nothing to do with books...unless you figure Obama and McCain both have some. But seriously, people, just freaking vote. Today.

p.s. yeah, I know we haven't posted in awhile but for some reason, the economy being in the shitter has somehow equalled more work. bizarre. I haven't even had a chance to read the comic strips on my daily calendar. honest to blog. it's stuck on october 21st. so, yeah. hopefully, we'll get back on track soon with nice frequent posts but until then, um, go obama.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jackie's gonna regret that...

Ah, Jackie Levin. Who hasn't placed constant emails, begging for placement on the Today Show for one of your authors? Yes, I know that you will never do anything with my little debut novelist, but hey, it's nice to try, right? And, really, I'm not offended that you rarely respond to my pitches. You are a busy lady, Ms. Levin, and I know that, one day, when you like one of my ideas, we will be friends. Or, at least when I work on Tina Fey's new book and you beg me for coverage (note: I do not actually work for the company that just paid millions for a non-existent book by Ms. Palin's doppelganger).

But, Jackie, I think you may of made an error in your recent interview with the 26th Story, when you said (in response to: Is it possible for a self-published author to get on the Today show?) this:

Absolutely...I have always said books are another vehicle for us to find great stories/segments, and if one happens to come from someone who published on their own, that's fine with me as long as all the facts in the book check out. If an author has the wherewithal to find me and pitch me, good for them, but at the same time, they have to be able to handle a "no" without having that buffer called "a publicist."

Oh my. See, here's a little secret. All authors would harass book reviewers, producers, etc. by themselves if they could. But we, as publicists, forbid it. Not because we want to do it ourselves. I'm happy to let other people do my work for me. It's simply that we are trying to protect you from the onslaught of inappropriate pitches, harassment from authors who have "nothing" to lose (we have your respect and our chances of ever getting ANY author on the show at risk), etc. We are trying to provide that extra filter for you. And how do we do that? By telling authors that you will ignore them. That you don't want to hear from them. That contacting you directly will HURT their chances, not help them.

But now, you've basically let them know that this is really just a free for all. And, well, I'm afraid that I just can't help you anymore. Godspeed, Ms. Levin, and I pray that your inbox does not implode.


[This is a couple days behind the curve, but to be fair, Ladytron sent it to me on Monday. I just posted it late. My bad. --Ed.]

Witches, Demons, and Thieves...oh my!

This week's literary event is Witches, Demons, and Thieves, a Puritan Halloween celebration with authors Kathleen Kent and Hannah Tinti, and artist Michael Aaron Lee. Check it out tonight at Housing Works, starting at 7 pm.

I hear there will be pie...

Do tell,

The Editor

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh noes...not Samantha!

Have you heard the horrible news? The American Girl Company is apparently doing away with one of the original dolls: Samantha Parkington. Now, I never had Samantha. My friend Katie did. And my friend Lauren had Molly. My friend Amanda had Kirsten. I had Felicity. Now, she wasn't one of the three, but she was the fourth! So, whatever. It counts.

Anyway, this shock led me to visit the American Girl website for the first time since, well, ever. I'm old school. I used to get those giant catalogues in the mail once a month, and put stars next to the ridiculously expensive accesories that I hoped my mom would get me for christmas. This was before you could get matching outfits or "bitty babies" (what the hell) or "just like you" dolls. Hell, I remember when the girls only had THREE books each (they have six now).

Oh, and I totally owned this. And this. And so many dresses like this. Omg, now I can't wait for Thanksgiving to tear apart my mother's neatly organized pile of "My daughter's crap I can't give to her because she lives in a tiny apartment in NY" looking for all of it!!

Whew. Ok, sorry. What was my point? Um...oh, yeah, the Samanth books will continue. They're published by, uh, oh, American Girl. Convenient. So, good. Eee, I love you, Felicity!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The new LOL cats?

Someone just turned me on to the new tumblr, Upside Down Dogs. Could this be the new I Can Has Cheezburger? Paging Gotham Books...


Denis Leary vs Autism

Hmm, apparently the Autism Society of America is all in a tiff because Denis Leary's new book, Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, contains a rant on, well, autism:

"There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don't give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you - yer kid is NOT autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both."

Ok, yes, sure, it's insensitive. I'm sure Jenny McCarthy is crying somewhere. But, come on, guys. It's Denis fucking Leary. Here are a few choice quotes from the man himself over the years:

“I think we should take Iraq and Iran and combine them into one country and call it Irate. All the pissed off people live in one place and get it over with.”

"We live in a country where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him, not ONE FUCKING BULLET! Explain that to me God!"

"That's why I'm glad Jesus died when he did. Because if he lived to be 40, he would have ended up like Elvis. He was famous already at that point. If he lived to be 40, he'd be walking around Jerusalem with a big fat beer gut and black side burns going, Damn, I'm the son of God. Give me a cheeseburger and french fries right now. "

So, um, Denis Leary isn't afraid of Jesus, the Middle East, or Yoko. I don't think the Autism Society is going to upset him too much.


Sloane Eats Cake

This week's literary event is the Sloane Crosley, Nathaniel Rich, and Sean Wilsey at Cakeshop (get it? CAKEshop? because, you know, I Was Told There Would be Cake. ha.). Apparently, there will also be music from the Neverbeens.

I won't be there as I will be home with a bottle of wine and the debate, but hey, I've deprived you guys of a literary event for a several weeks now, so here you go.

Don't say I don't love you.

Do Tell,

The Editor

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Olsson's Gives Up

News came earlier today that Olsson's Dupont Circle had unexpectedly closed, but now, apparently, the company has announced that all stores are closed for good. I think Politics & Prose just got a lot harder to book.

--Paige Sexie

Shake-up at Penguin

A tipster just informed me that the Dutton/Gotham publicity department is being shifted around. Apparently, Gotham Books and Avery are merging under publisher Bill Shinker, and Lisa Johnson will head the publicity and marketing departments for both. Head of Dutton publicity and marketing will be Christine Aronson, joining the Penguin team from Crown.

No word yet on how the rest of the publicity/marketing team will be split. But perhaps this will finally slow down that ever-spinning revolving door?


Thursday, September 18, 2008

On a slightly lighter note...

....this is awesome.

Any loyal LOST fan knows that there have been consistent literary references throughout the series, from Watership Down to Alice in Wonderland to The Turn of the Screw. A lot of these hints went over my head, but hey, that's what Doc Jensen and lostpedia are for. But now, those crafty LOST writers have created the LOST Book Club.

Yep, that's right. And, it lists every book that has ever been shown, mentioned, or obliquely referenced, along with a synopsis, it's relevance to the show, and a link to the purchase the book. Pretty freaking sweet.

Now, what are the odds that I can actually read thru all of these before the show returns next year?


ps. In case you don't want to click through, here are some of the surprising books on the list: Bonjour Babar, John Lescroat's The Oath, and Judy Blume's Are You Out There, God? It's Me, Margaret.

Publishing just can't win this week

From today's L.A. Times:

Sara Nelson, editor in chief of Publishers Weekly, believes that the reading public "feels stuff not worthy of them is being shoved down their throats." The difficult part, she says, is that the audience for "serious books . . . really doesn't want to be marketed to. But if you don't market to them, they don't know what to read."

As someone who has worked on a number of books that were considered "literary" but got less coverage than any celebrity memoir or Harlan Coben book, I feel that. The industry has become so focused on what will sell rather than what is good, that, at times, it feels as though we are destroying ourselves from within.

The article looks at reprints, with the basic argument seeming to be that people are becoming dissatisfied with the fiction being offered to them, so they are turning to older books that are now being reintroduced to the market. And that the big houses are in danger of losing the trust of readers by tainting their once respected name.

It's an interesting theory, but I would like to argue that there are plenty of good books still being published. The focus just isn't being given to them. And in order to publish the "good" books, it seems that publishers have to balance it out with the "commercial" ones that will bring in the money. Publishers hedge their bets on a couple sure blockbusters in order to keep them afloat so they can try out other books.

But doesn't it seem that maybe if we shrunk the scale, we could solve all the problems at once? Why do we have to have massive lists? Can't we throw all of our energy into books we believe in, rather than just try to market them in between fielding calls about Stephanie Meyer or Curtis Sittenfeld? And, it's not just publishers that are to blame. The media covering the industry doesn't seem to be interested in discovering a new writer...they seem to just want to talk about the author everyone else already is.


Monday, September 15, 2008

it just keeps getting worse

From the NY Times Breaking News Alert:

Breaking News 4:08 PM ET: Dow Closes Down More Than 500 Points

Talk about publishing into a recession...jeez.


What a depressing day for publishing

Ugh, publishing is doomed, and apparently, it's no longer fun.

First up, we have the hella long article in New York Magazine, which asserts that, basically, we're all screwed. Some choice quotes:
Yet in recent years, more accurate internal sales numbers have confirmed what publishers long suspected: Traditional marketing is useless.

“Media doesn’t matter, reviews don’t matter, blurbs don’t matter,” says one powerful agent. Nobody knows where the readers are, or how to connect with them....

Marketing a book these days is like playing a slot machine;
hitting one 7 won’t get you a dime. “There has to be this constellation of events,” says Daniel Menaker, whose departure was tied in the press to the low sales of Benjamin Kunkel’s much-ballyhooed debut novel, Indecision. “Not only a Times Book Review front cover but Don Imus talking about it and Ellen Pompeo actually reading the book on-camera. And Barack Obama has just bought it.”
Augh, so true! In fact, I think I have mentioned these points before in some of my rants. Not to mention, the book has to be in stores. The book can be reviewed everywhere, but if it's not sitting on a table at B&N, it's probably not going to sell giant numbers. Which brings us to point #2...
This matters because the following response from Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio is only technically true: “We buy every title published—our business is a long-tail business—less than 5 percent is from bestsellers.”

Editors insist that plenty of books get skipped. Richard Nash, head of indie publisher Soft Skull Press, estimates that one in twenty are passed over, though ten to fifteen copies are shipped into their warehouses in case there’s a special order. Many more are getting smaller initial orders than ever. That’s a very long, very skinny tail.
I'm gonna agree with Nash here. Also, sometimes they might buy 500 of a book. But 500 copies for all of the stores? Not helpful. It means that book is either sitting in a carton in the warehouse somewhere, or shoved on a back shelf. Moving on...
It’ll be rough going in the meantime; some publishers will transform, some will muddle through, some will die. And there will, no doubt, be a lot of editors for whom even this diminished era will look like the last great golden age, when some writers were paid in the millions,some of their books produced in the millions, and more than half of those books actually sold. Book publishing is still a big-league business, and that’s a hard thing to let go of. “There’s something terrible,” says an editor at a prestigious imprint, “about admitting that you’re not a mass medium.”
Oh, god. This was the golden age? Not according to Al Silverman. His new book, The Time of Our Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Book Publishers, Their Editors and Authors, defines the golden age as the period between 1946 and the early 1980s, the period "when 'books were most beloved by a reading public.' Soon afterward, the great 'bookmen' stepped aside and the bottom-liners of business took over."

(NY Mag also references the decline when publishing became about conglomerates rather than taste: "In its heyday, publishing was a vast array of mom-and-pop shops, in which the pops tended to be independently wealthy. Their competitive advantage was not efficiency or low costs but taste....By the nineties, five big conglomerates were divvying up the spoils and their lucrative backlists. Many of the smaller companies that had been struggling, like FSG, Ecco, and Crown, were flush with corporate resources. But in exchange, they gave up final say in how they’d publish their books—or even what books they’d publish. And suddenly an industry accustomed to 5 percent margins was being run by media moguls aiming for double digits.")

Crap. I guess I was about 20 years too late. I imagine the old days of publishing were a bit like an episode of Mad Men. As Gawker puts it, "It can be difficult to know you're in a golden age. You might be too busy working. You might be too caught up in the hum of everyday life. You might live in Omaha. But here's a hint: there are usually a lot of white guys in bow ties smoking indoors." Now, that would have been fun.


RIP David Foster Wallace

I have nothing snarky to say about this. Infinite Jest was always one of the books that sat on my bookshelf, taunting me because, as much as I wanted to read it, I just couldn't ever seem to undertake the huge task of it. Much like James Joyce's Ulysses. But, although I have never read it, I've heard from enough people who have to know that we just lost a great writer. RIP.

PPA Party (AKA Free Booze)

For this week's literary event, I'm going the easy route. The PPA Cocktail Party is tonight, so if you can get your boss to cough up $75 ($65 for members), head on over to Fig & Olive Fifth Avenue at 6 pm for free drinks, free snacks, and tons of publicity people crammed into one space.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Joy of Sex (UPDATED!)

OMG, The Joy of Sex has been updated. How effing cool is that? Psychologist Susan Quilliam has added 43 new sections and put a larger focus on bringing joy to the ladies. Apparently, the original had just four sentences on the clitoris so obvi, that had to change. We've also got info on cybersex and equine roleplay (really?). The power of the big toe remains, which, btw, is totally news to me. But, apparently, "The pad of the male big toe applied to the clitoris or the vulva generally is a magnificent erotic instrument." Damn! I have been missing out. Although do you ask your partner to wash his feet first? I mean, what if he's been wearing flip-flops? Do I want NYC street germs rubbing against my private parts? Sigh. So many questions.

Oh, bizarrely, there's also a section devoted to penis injuries caused by vacuum cleaners. Ouch!

--Paige Sexie

Publicity Relations Explained via The Swivet

This was just passed along to me, and I thought you guys would appreciate in. Colleen Lindsay has started a Pimpin' Your Book series over at The Swivet, and one of her latest entries is about how to work effectively with your publicist. Recommended reading for all current and want-to-be authors. Some choice tips:

1. Don't be a prima donna: Nobody likes a prima donna. Think about about what you're asking for before you ask. Is it really necessary or did someone tell you that this is what you're supposed to ask for as an author? Difficult, high-maintenance authors develop a reputation with publicists, booksellers, producers, media escorts and other authors.

2. Don't call your publicist several times a day with new questions. Don't send your publicist more than one email a day. Instead, gather up as many of your questions as possible into one email, and then wait for an answer before sending off another.

3. Don't forget to say thank you: It's not necessary to buy your publicist or editor or marketing person a gift. But it's absolutely proper to send a thank-you note or email after your campaign is over. And you'd be surprised at how often authors don't do this. Say thank you. It'll go a very long way toward earning you respect as a professional.

There's also an explanation of the publicity timeline, etc. but I have decided that the above really are the most important. Don't be a pain in my ass and buy me stuff (technically not necessary but I will like you better). We'll get along just fine.

Do tell,

The Editor

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Crack: Apparently Not Whack

Umm, when did crack become the new black? Seriously people. CRACK? Look, I like some drugs as much as the next person, but, guys, it's one thing to smoke a joint with friends or a do a line of coke at a's another to start carrying around a crack pipe. Where do you even buy crack? How do you even stumble into this? Like, one day, you're leaving Babbo and are all, oh, hey, I think I'll buy some crack from that dude over there. Looks like fun. Christ almightly.

Oh, yeah, sorry. That rant was caused by the fact that, right on the heels of New York Times journalist David Carr's admission that he was womanizing, abusive, and all around bad person/crack addict, Bill Clegg is also coming out of the crack closet. We all remember when he disappeared in 2005, although I don't really remember caring very much. Well, apparently, he was off doing crack and then getting clean. But do I care?

Did these guys just read A Million Little Pieces and think, dude, I can totally up that, and mine will be true? Or is there really just a big market out there for the old "I'm a drug addict" memoir? Are we all so interested in seeing just how far people will fall before they come back and write a tell-all book about the experience? If so, I gotta up my alcohol abuse so I can get a sweet book deal out of it. Oh wait.


Pasta and Cigarettes

Awww, this story just made my cold heart melt a little. The Times did a profile piece on legendary chef and cookbook author Marcella Hazan and her husband, Victor. The two are publishing a memoir next month (her words, his translation) from Gotham Books called Amarcord: Marcella Remembers. Although the couple is known for their fights (with each other as well as people who have worked with them in the past), the article makes it clear that the two are still very much in love -- and each other's inspirations. The best part is? Marcella lifestyle includes "a parade of Marlboro Lights and afternoon shots of Gentleman Jack whiskey."

Did I mention that she is 84? I'm not sure what I'm most jealous of: her ability to cook delish food, her longterm marriage, all the money she must have, or the fact that she's 84 and still able to live on cigarettes and bourbon.


Sarah Palin and the Handmaid's Tale

Bt dubs, Jezebel has an interesting post comparing the candidacy of Sarah Palin to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. It's a bit stretching in parts, but interesting none the less.

The conclusion is this: But Palin does want to deprive women of the right to decide what we do with our bodies. And as The Handmaid's Tale shows, women who want to take power away from women should be careful what they wish for.

Do tell,

The Editor

And the world just got a little bit more ridic

Lauren Conrad (fashion "designer" and star of "reality" show The Hills) just signed a three-book deal with Harper Collins to write a YA series based on her life. The worst part is, I'm totally going to read it. It's going to be horrific, but so is the show and I just can't seem to turn away. Oooo, what if they make a movie based on the book that's based on the life she pretends to lead on her show? I think I just broke my brain with that one...


ps. LC has apparently already outlined the first book. I wonder if she's using the book above as a reference?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sutherland doesn't like curried books after all

So, yesterday, I started writing this totes amusing post about book critic John Sutherland and how he backed down from his original claim that "If The Enchantress of Florence doesn't win this year's Man Booker I'll curry my proof copy and eat it."

As everyone has heard by now, Rushdie's newest novel was not nominated (according to jury chair Michael Portillo, "In the opinion of [the judges] taken together, Salman Rushdie's was not one of the top six books for us. We didn't have a huge debate about it."), and Sutherland has totally backed down.

But, since I was a little slow to actually finish the post and send it to the Editor to put up, I have realized that NY Mag's Vulture section already wrote it for me. Rather than try to top them, I'll just repost it here for your reading pleasure (I have also stolen their handy art work).

Back in April, reviewing Salman Rushdie's most recent novel in the pages of the Financial Times, book critic John Sutherland — even though he admitted to not understanding its plot — made this bold promise: "If The Enchantress of Florence doesn't win this year's Man Booker I'll curry my proof copy and eat it." Today, however, after the Rushdie-less Booker short list was announced, Sutherland reneged: "I vowed — publicly — to curry and eat my proof copy of The Enchantress of Florence if it didn't win. It won't. And I won't. So there." Shameful! We suppose we could understand if he were backing out of eating a tough, chewy stitch-bound hardcover first edition — but this is a soft-cover proof copy! Those things are delicious!

S&S is going to hell

Apparently Simon Spotlight Entertainment has a new book coming out which has royally pissed off the Catholic Church. In "101 Places To Have Sex Before You Die," one of the places listed is in a confessional booth. My favorite quote? From Catholic League president Bill Donohue: "The kind of people who would have sex in the confessional would also have sex in a graveyard. And I don't mean with each other." Zing!

I personally can't wait to get my hands on a copy (call me!), which apparently has a check-list and a place for notes. I'm hoping that I've had sex in at least 20% of the places...although at this point, I'm sad to say, I can't cross the confessional booth off. But, hey, there's still plenty of time and plenty of sex to be had!

--Paige Sexie

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rakesh's Birthday

This week's literary event is the Golden Birthday of everyone's favorite editor, singer, and novelist ... Mr. Rakesh Satyal. Since his evite list already includes over 400 of his nearest and dearest, I figured he wouldn't mind a slunch shout-out and a couple extra people present to buy him drinks. The Brooklyn Inn, this Saturday, 9 pm. See you there!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Now I can't help thinking B.F.G. was code for something naughty...

I just got this link in my inbox, and had to repost for y'all. Apparently, Roald Dahl (ya know, the guy that brought us Matilda, The B.F.G., James & The Giant Beach, and the Willy Wonka books) was apparently a SPY! And not just your run of the mill boring James Bond spy -- A SEX SPY.

Some choice tidbits:

[Dahl] begged his superiors to take him off the assignment, only to be told to get back into the bedroom.

"I think he slept with everybody on the east and west coasts that [was worth] more than $50,000 a year."

Despite Dahl's reputation as "one of the biggest cocksmen in America"...

All I have to say, is that I wrote a book report in elementary school on Matilda and I wish I had done my author bio research more thoroughly!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oh, Lynne

Jesus, Lynne. It's not enough that you drove both of your children into the horrific world of show biz, apparently couldn't teach little Jamie Lynne about birth control, and totally abandoned your eldest daughter when she went crazy? I mean, at least there's no "Living Spears" show out there, but I'm sure if you'd thought of it before Dina Lohan, you would have been all over that shit.

And now, your "parenting memoir" (which I believe is how it was originally shopped around) is basically a tell-all about your mentally unstable daughter who is only better because her former-boozy dad stepped into to save her? Have you no shame woman?

And now, because I apparently have no shame either, some tid bits from the leaked pages:
  1. Brit lost her virginity at 14 to her high school football boyfriend. He was 18 (ahem. statutory rape. cough). So I guess Justin didn't get to take her v-card after all.

  2. Brit started drinking back in the Mouseketeer days - at 13. Christ, even I didn't get drunk for the first time until I was 15...

  3. ...which is apparently the age when Britney discovered drugs, after going to L.A. to record Baby One More Time (which I own and still listen to. "You drive me craaaaazy.")

  4. At 16, Brit stepped it up a notch and was caught with coke and pot on a private jet.
Oh, also, Lynne feels REAL BAD about the whole thing and kinda blames herself. Yeah, so does everyone else, Lynne. So does everyone else. At least you didn't put a picture of Brit being wheeled off to crazytown on the cover. That's about the nicest thing I can say at this point.

--Paige Sexie

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Report from DBF

So, I didn't make it to the Decatur Book Festival this year because...well, I went to the beach instead. Sue me. But, I did ask people I knew there to send me tidbits, so here are the bits of news that have filtered back. I can vouch for none of these things, but, hey, can I ever?

1. WordSmith sucks. AGAIN. I posted something vaguely snarky about them last year and was rebutted for being misinformed (which I was, so yes, my bad), but this time, I swear it might be true. I heard from several sources that Wordsmith under ordered books for the event, making certain people question why they sacrificed their holiday weekend to sell 30 books instead of say, 200. Or more. I would like to stress that absolutely no one blamed the Festival for this. I only heard good things about it, but people questioned Wordsmith's ordering practices. I'm betting it has to do with Zack's lack of credit with the publishers, not to mention this. Please stop giving them jobs and focus on the other wonderful independent booksellers in ATL.

2. Parties are fun! The party at the Old Courthouse on Saturday was just as entertaining as the previous year's. Organizer Tom Bell should be proud. I heard there was some delish cheese but the describer seemed unsure of what was in it. But yeah, I guess if you go next year, look out for cheese?

3. Props to the Decatur Presbyterian Church for hosting events in their sanctuary and chapel that might not seem like such a natural, The Pornography of Power or Rick Bragg.

4. Robert Olen Butler's event filled up completely, and apparently he gave a great presentation. I heard that in person though, he seems to grant more attention to the cute single ladies than anyone else. Perhaps ROB is still feeling his way out in the single life? We know subtlety has not been is strong point in the past. Or perhaps my source was just an unfortunate victim of too much free booze?

5. Eric Jerome Dickey was also hanging out and was totes sweet. I've never actually read one of his books, but I have heard they are quite racy. I'm happy to hear that he was quite a gentleman and was not acting in the least bit inappropriately (unlike some people, ahem). In fact, I was told that he was very approachable and more than pleased to chat.

6. It was hot there. Although, what did you expect by visiting Atlanta in August?

That's all I've got for now, but let me know if any of you guys made it down south and have anything to add!



Stephanie Meyer is putting Midnight Sun on hold after an early draft leaked on-line. Why must you do this to me?? And, also, where can I find this draft? Must google...

For the non-Twilight obsessed, Midnight Sun is the retelling of Twilight from vampire Edward Cullen's perspective. And yes, some of you may think, why the hell would you want to read the same book just told from a different view point again? Well, all I can say to that is...I don't know. I'm clearly a pathetic human being but damn if I don't love that silly vampire.

--Paige Sexie

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Ok, I'm stretching today, but this makes me so happy, I must include it. And before you give me shit, The Notebook was a book before it was a movie that starred Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, and OMFG, "It wasn't still isn't over!"

sigh. Best book adapation EVER. And possibly best real-life romance ever. MAKE IT WORK this time, kids.


Word, Molly Friedrich

From a Poets & Writer's interview by Jofie Ferrari-Adler with literary agent Molly Friedrich (from Publishers Lunch via The Book Publicity Blog):

Q: Did you like doing publicity?

A: In my opinion, the two jobs that are the most exhausting in this business are the jobs of the foreign scout and the publicist. The reason is that there is never an end to the job. If you're a scout, there is always another book you can cover, another house you can do well by, another report you can write. If you're a publicist, for every eighty letters you write, and eighty ideas you try, there are seventy-nine that don't work. But the only ones that the author hears about–and the editor hears about and your boss hears about–are the ones that work. It is a thankless and really difficult job. But I did it.

Amen, sister. That's all I gotta say. Amen.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

And the mystery couple is...

The news just hit Facebook, so I suppose it's official. The 375 couple? None other than Gotham Books' editorial staffers, Patrick Mulligan (AKA, the LOLcat book editor) and Brianne Ramagosa. The two have announced their engagement to co-workers and Facebook friends alike. Mazel tov!

--Paige Sexie

Penguin wants to help you get laid

OMG, Penguin is getting into the matchmaking biz. Apparently, publishing horrific books on how to find a man isn't, the publishing house is trying to directly hook you up with a book-reading mate via a new partnership with I'm tempted to sign up and start a weekly series on here detailing how well it bad there's no slunch expense account. On the plus side, you can sign up for free! However, to contact anyone ya gotta pay. Suck. Don't they know that us "book-lovers" don't make any money?

--Paige Sexie

ps. Speaking of penguin romance, I hear congratulations may be in order soon for a clandestine couple over at 375 Hudson. More to come on that...

And...we're back

Sorry for the lack of communication, all! I went on vacation, and apparently, the other slunchies cannot be motivated to post in my absence. But I am back, and hopefully, so are more regular posts. Anyone have a last minute idea for this week's literary event?

Do tell,

The Editor

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Run's House: A Show Devoted to Gotham Books

So I finally got around to watching the “Run’s House” episode that features special guest appearances by Penguin peeps. I had read that Gotham publisher Bill Shinker was going to appear, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of the audio people got screen time as well.

Now, I’m not a regular watcher of “Run’s House” so I have no idea if Russell Simmons makes regular cameos on the show. But, I found it to be a fascinating coincidence that on the show devoted to Run and Mrs. Run’s new book, Russell appeared and managed to hand mini-Run a copy of HIS book as inspiration. Published by who? Gotham Books, of course. Hmm….

-Paige Sexie

Monday, August 4, 2008

What would Padma say?

There's a new book coming out from Salman Rushdie's former bodyguard, Ron Evans, and Rushdie is PISSED. Her Majesty's Service apparently portrays Rushdie (or "Scruffy," as Evans claims Salman was nicknamed) as "mean, nasty, tightfisted, arrogant and extremely unpleasant" - basically, an all around d-bag. Rushdie was under police protection for nine years after the uptight peeps in Iran declared a fatwa on him for writing The Satanic Verses (awesome book, btw).

Instead of ignoring the "slanderous" book like most celebrities, Scruffy has decided to bring more attention to it by suing. I mean, I'm sure it has some exaggerations (or outright lies), but I think suing is probably a bad idea. I wouldn't have given this book a second look, and now I'm all, ooo, what's in there that Scruffy doesn't want me to see?

Don't get me wrong. I like Rushdie. He's a fantastic writer. And I met him once at a PEN World Voices thing and he seemed like a cool dude. He did have a runny nose though, so I probably would have named him Snuffly if I'd been in on the nickname giving, but hey, maybe that was the exception rather than the rule. Most importantly though, the man was married to Padma Lakshmi. As in former supermodel, hot Top Chef hostess, and probable stoner Padma Lakshmi. And really, if a dude that looks like Rushdie can get her, well, I just think he's probably not bad enough to be locked in a cupboard by his bodyguards.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Harry Potter Trailer!

This could well be the nerdiest day at Slunch ever but we can we do. Today the new Harry Potter trailer was unleashed and if you haven’t seen it yet then I’m sorry what are you doing? Actual work? Lame.

In the trailer we got glimpses of young He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (go ahead say it – I dare you) and Dumbledore fighting off an army of Inferi and Harry looking all stressed out. The whole thing gave me chills – but as you all know I’m a sucker for movie trailers. However it did bring up some questions – like where is the romance? And did we even see Hermione – that’s odd And WTF – Where was Alan Rickman? There are some things I feel strongly about and Alan Rickman is one them.

So what did you all think? Excited? Don’t care? Let’s hear it – I’ll check back after I’ve watched the trailer a couple more times.


Breaking Dawn Release

As some of you loyal readers may remember that one our first posts was about the Harry Potter Book 7 Release. In honor of that, I'm making this week's literary event, the most anticipated release party since that INSANE event. That's right, folks. Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn is being released this Friday - and the midnight buying frenzy is back. I've never actually read any of these books, but Paige Sexie, Ladytron, and Babytron swear by them. Well, maybe swear by is a bit strong, but they seem quite obsessed. So, in honor of them (and Ms. Meyer), dress up and line up to learn the fate of Bella, Edward, Jacob and the rest of those crazy vampire/werewolf kids.

It remains to be seen, however, if Ladytron will once again brave the masses to report on the chaos for us. She seemed quite frightened at the idea of lining up in Union Square again. So if any of you slunch fans attend a party, feel free to send something in to us! And look for a review of the new book in the next week or so.

Do tell,

The Editor

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Sees the Error of Its Ways? (UPDATE: No)

I was just skimming yesterday's Publishers Lunch (no matter how many times I whitelist it, PL always gets caught in my spam filter), and I noticed this. Apparently, after laying off half the publicity staff in the merger, HMH is now hiring a senior publicist. I'm sure that all of those still looking for a job are thrilled to hear that. Could HMH (specifically, Lori Glazer) have finally realized that doubling their list without doubling their staff was a mistake? UPDATE: Ok, apparently someone left. Which makes this whole post kind of pointless. Oh well. Except, hey guys, there's a senior publicist job out there! Apply. Or maybe they can hire one of their old employees back? I'm sure the severance must have run out by now.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh, Deathtron

In response to Deathtron's latest, I just had to say something. It's quite possibly all the lemon vodka thingies I've been having tonight, but I agree. I do. And it makes me a little bit sad that this is my job. Because some days it does truly suck. There are authors or bosses who can suck the life out of it - and make me doubt that I'm any good at it. And I hate that. It pisses me off more than I can say, especially when it's one of those authors that I have made a priority. Deathtron is right in the fact that we're all overworked, and that there are just too many damn books for anyone to do a decent job. But when one of the authors who I have focused on, who I have pitched to hundreds of outlets, who I have gone above and beyond for...well, when they question my "commitment" to a project. Yeah, it's enough to make me want to throw in the towel.

But...there is something great about some authors that makes it worth while. The ones that appreciate every little thing you do. Unfortunately, some authors are horrific. You can try and try, and no one cares about the book - and the author thinks it's because you're not putting the effort in. That you're emailing instead of calling, or not calling or emailing enough. And the fact is, that at least from what I've experienced, that people you are pitching to either want the book or not. And I'm not going to mess up my relationship with a reviewer because Author X thinks the best way to handle it is to call them everyday. I know that reviewers and producers are overworked as well. Mostly because people like us are harassing them everyday with books or stories they don't care about. But I like to think that it's understood that I'm going to try this idea out on you, and if you don't like it, then I won't bug you again. And the times I do have a story you like, then we will get along splendidly. But, I'm sorry, authors, I'm not going to make someone so irritated that they NEVER want to like a pitch I send them in the name of harassing them about your book.

Yes, your book is important. I get that. you wrote it, it means a lot to you, and I'm publicizing it. If I'm freelance, then I took it on and I obviously want to do a good job because it's my name and my reputation. If I'm in-house, I want to do a good job so I don't get in trouble. WE ARE TRYING. And calls about how you think maybe we could try harder, or maybe we're not doing it right...well, it's not a motivator. It's a turnoff. The authors that are appreciative for what I do, I work that much harder for them. Because I want to prove that I'm worthy of their thank yous. Those of you who criticize....well, I feel guilty and then angry. And it eats away at my self-confidence. And I don't think you want a publicist who is doubting him/herself.

So, yes, Deathtron, there are times when publicity can be a soul-crushing job, and if I had the balls and/or money to leave it, I just might. But, at the end of the day, I do it for those authors that appreciate me. And for the rush of getting the perfect placement for one of my favorites. And for now, those moments of glory are enough for me. And I hope that it will continue to be. And I hope that authors and bosses will keep this is mind (ha ha, 'cause I know that sooo many of them are totally reading this. sigh) - because I've watched people that I know are fantastic at their jobs being broken. And I hate it.

We do it because we love books and we love our jobs. Please stop ruining it for us. Or we'll all end up like Deathtron. And I, for one, would like to retain enough optimism to keep this up until I'm head of a department with much, much more money.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Why I Hate Book Publicity and will Never do it Again

1) The work never ends. No matter how much publicity you get for a book, there is always more to get, something else to do, another person to pitch, news angle to take advantage of. There is never a sense of completion, just a slow winding down of how much attention you give an author and their book. I’d like closure for once in my life.

2) Too many books. You want me to effectively publicize 5 books a month? Do 3 tours in one month? Ummm, that’s an unreasonable expectation. Ain’t gonna happen. 1 will get my full attention. 3 will get the bare minimum. One will totally get lost in the shuffle. I’m tired of not having the resources, tools and time to do my job effectively. Why doesn’t the biz realize that it’s publishing too many books for the staff resources to actually work on? And even worse, publishing books that compete against each other. I can only pitch so many people so many times before I piss them off. Looking forward to less stress and getting that krick out of my neck from holding the phone to my ear with my shoulder from too many conference calls.

3) Unreasonable authors and their expectations. Yeah, I know this book is your baby, I know you spent 3 years writing it, but face it, calling me every day to check the status on your book is taking away time from working on your book. You’re a first time author and its mass market and nobody has ever heard of you and really don’t care. I’m doing my best here. Every one hour meeting with your agent, the editor and my boss you want to have is an hour I’m not working on your book. Hey, some of you were a joy to work with and for that I’m thankful but I’m really tired of dealing with the rest of you. Bye.

4) Meetings. The last place I worked we actually had meetings to discuss what we would say and cover in our upcoming meeting. I’d say ¼ of my time was spent in planning meetings, marketing meetings, sales meetings, meeting authors & agents on potential buys. Enough! I’m done with meetings… unless it’s over lunch or a beer and you’re buying.

5) Quality of life. I’ve eaten breakfast and lunch at my desk for the last time. I’m turning in my blackberry so I don’t have to get an email from my boss on the weekend about something we can easily discuss on Monday. I’m never working late or on the weekend again after a five day week because there’s too much work to be done and instead of increasing staff to cover the work load it’s been cut. I’m going to start eating at a proper table… or over the sink.

Yeah, I'm sure some of you snarky commenters will be like "geez, what a baby, suck it up and stop whining. I'm not whining but venting and moving on. If all i did was just complain and not change anything, well then, you'd be right to taunt me. However, i'm just sick of the shit and not in a position to change the industry from the inside so I'm getting out of it. Good luck, suckahs! See you in hell, or at the bar, which ever is closer.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Jessica Roy and the Literati

I feel like I should post about this, but I'm not even really sure why. By now, most of you have probably read it - and the Gawker/Jezebel/n+1 scene's reaction to it. But to sum up, NYU student, blogger, and want-to-be literati Jessica Roy wrote a piece about her experiences hanging out with the Leon Neyfakh and Keith Gessen crew for New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer.

As a publicist, I'm not part of this scene (although, we all do occasionally overlap. new york is strangely small in that way), but it sums up what I've heard a lot of people say about the industry as a whole. A number of people I've worked with have confessed that they rarely befriend people at their jobs because said co-workers are too pretentious. And it can be true. There are those people that don't have TVs and only listen to NPR and read the Times, and scoff at people like me for watching the Hills. There is a bit of aura of superiority - we publish books after all. We educate people. We produce a product that is meant to make a difference.

Which, if you think about, is kind of ridiculous. Can we really feel superior to the people over at Glamour or Maxim when we're publishing books like "Stuff White People Like" or "lolCats"? It's not as though we're in search of the next great American writer. We're in search of the next great bestseller. And I'm sure Leon or Keith can feel superior to us because, well, Leon covers the industry rather than taking part in it, and Keith runs a "high brow" lit magazine. Oh, and they're writers and highly educated.

The whole thing is just silly. And it's even more silly that we all write about it. That I'm writing about it. That people in New York have become so self-involved with ourselves that we think such things are news-worthy. Emily Gould is not famous. Nor is Keith Gessen. They are famous in a select circle of people, but because of sites like Gawker, the New York media has somehow become convinced that they are. No better than a Julia Allison type fameball, but they can feel superior to her because they've gained their fame for "deep insights" and books, rather than dating columns or talking about celebrities on national TV shows.

I don't really know my whole point with this, except that it sits badly with me. It bothers me that a 20 year-old girl was holding these people up as role-models and for what she wanted to be. Look, I read Jezebel and Gawker as much as the next girl - probaby more. And I find it hilarious. But, I would never wake up in the morning and say that my goal is to be Moe or Tracie. Or Sheila or Choire or Nick Denton. Well, maybe Nick Denton. He does have a really sweet apartment.

It just saddens me that these are the people that college students are looking up to. That these are our mentors. And that, as the book industry, we encourage it by continually publishing their work. People who tumblr and post rants and write pieces about themselves...aren't there better, more-talented, and less self-involved writers out there? Or is that just a contradiction in itself?


Drunk to Publishing

This week's literary event of the week is brought to you courteous of the crazy kids over at Drunk to Publishing. Celebrate your summer fridays (for those of you that get them) by heading over to the Parkside Lounge (Houston & Ave B) for happy hour with the rest of the slackers in the biz. Happy hour starts at 2 pm and goes until you can no longer walk a straight line...and perhaps even longer.

Do tell,

The Editor

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Demise of publishing power couple?

Word on the street is that the so-called "publishing power couple" - Galleycatter Andy Heidel and Soho Press Publicity Director Sarah Reidy - have called it quits. If Reidy's facebook status and twitters are to be believed, she is definitely single and working through something. When I reached out for comment though, she replied very quickly with, "Fuck you. Don't you dare post about this on slunch," which leads me to believe this rumor is true. Heidel didn't respond to my emails, and sadly, his last twitter update is over a month old.

--Pagie Sexie

Gas Attack

Apparently, the Weinstein Company has acquired the rights to Larry King's autobiography. Will this "definitive biography" tackle the most pressing question about King? Why, why is he so gassy? Several sources have confirmed that if you have a meeting with King, be prepared for some unpleasant odors to waft your way. Perhaps gas is the secret to living so long? Or maybe it's some side effect of having your suspenders on too tight...


Monday, July 14, 2008

I love the Michael Ian Black

One of my favorite VH1 comics will be showing up in Bryant Park this Wednesday to say hilarious things and continue his quest to fight David Sedaris. If you haven't read any of this book yet, you should. It's laugh-out-loud-on-the-subway-like-a-crazy-person funny. Oh, and hilarious side note. Amazon is offering the book with Sedaris's new one in the "buy together today" deal.

Details for this week's literary event below.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Michael Ian Black, My Custom Van (And 46 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face)
Hosted by: Amelie Gillette, Staff Writer at The Onion

Rev up for comedian, actor, director, blogger, and co-creator of comedy favorites The State and Stella, Michael Ian Black, as he presents his debut collection of hilarious irreverent essays.

Do Tell,

The Editor

Biblical Babbling

Time Magazine has a new article out a 1st century BC tablet that challenges the idea that Jesus's resurrection was unique. Since the Bible is a book, I'm going to stretch this into the realm of publishing news. As in OMG, did the apostles totes rip off some other author's work? I mean, one of the basic arguments about the resurrection (according to Time, at least, and I'll go with them since I assume they did research and junk) is that it's unique:

This, in turn, undermines one of the strongest literary arguments employed by Christians over centuries to support the historicity of the Resurrection (in which they believe on faith): the specificity and novelty of the idea that the Messiah would die on a Friday and rise on a Sunday. Who could make such stuff up?

If certain interpretations of the tablet are to be believed, well, I guess the apostles kinda did. Or at least, stole someone else's miracle and applied it for their own uses. Hmm, well. I guess if that's true, we should all feel a little bad about coming down so hard on Frey, Jones/Seltzer, and all the other fake memorists. If even saints (are the apostles saints? some of them are, right? I mean, except for judas) fall victim to the temptation of a better story, how are we mere humans supposed to do better?


ps. in a preventative measure to ward off hate mail, no, I am not actually equating James Frey with Matthew, Luke, John, etc. it's called sarcasm. please don't write me lectures about the merits of christianity. if you feel that strongly, you shouldn't be reading this blog.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Madonna Trumps Books with Her Own Craziness

Does anyone think that maybe Madonna is acting out in reaction to her brother's new tell-all? Madonna's been kinda boring for the past few years. I mean, the biggest scandal was that she adopted a child. Oooo. And now, just when news breaks that her estranged brother has written a book for Simon Spotlight Entertainment, boom. She's getting divorced, she's breaking up marriages. Her happy and boring Kaballah/yoga/family centric existence has disappeared. Coincidence? I think not.

And more importantly, do you think Christoper Ciccone is scrambling to write his follow-up with all this new ammunition?


Monday, July 7, 2008

Motherfuckin' Snakes at a Motherfuckin' Bookstore

The obvious choice for this week's literary event would be Thrillerfest, but eh. I doubt any of you will go unless you're working it. Instead, let's go with another thrilling (ha ha) event: Quick Thrills from Out-of-Towners. Eight writers (Mario Acavedo, Laura Benedict, J.T. Ellison, Michelle Gagon, Shane Gericke, Tim Maleeny, Alexandra Sokoloff, and the ever-popular Lee Child) this Thursday, 8:00 pm, at the Park Avenue Borders.

No booze, I'm afraid, but one lucky reader will win....AN EIGHT FOOT PLUSH SNAKE (yep, that's the actual snake to your right). Rockin'. I've been told, off the record, that you could probably smuggle in your own flask if you wish.

Do tell,

The Editor

Thursday, July 3, 2008

More Gould Gossip

Thanks to Cajun Boy for passing this from Reverse Cowgirl's blog our way:

Got an email this past weekend in reference to this post. Came from an individual who read Gould's proposal in its entirety. Last weekend, a few folks end up at a bar, gather around a table, and one attendee pulls multiple copies of the proposal from her purse. Said copies are passed around, read, and readers find themselves "collectively aghast at its bone-shattering awfulness." Reportedly, it's "painful" to read. Supposedly, Gould as recently as a week ago declared she wouldn't be writing a memoir because writing 8,000 words about herself was too depressing, and she couldn't imagine writing 80,000 words about herself. I guess this is the part in the post where I'm supposed to say something insightful, but the only thing I can think to say is just because it sucks doesn't mean it won't sell for $250K-plus in a matter of days. I guess that's the breaks when the idiots are driving the clown car.

Updated: Another anonymous emailer who was present for the proposalakkake concurs: "I was there when that book proposal came out. And I'll tell you with remorse, as someone who has been trying to stick up for Emily: it's abysmal. It makes me sad."

I've talked to a couple people who have read the manuscript, and opinions seem to vary from "hideous" to "I enjoyed it." I have yet to get my grubby hands on a manuscript so I can offer no guidance. But, if anyone has one they want to send to the Editor via email, that would be totally sweet.

Do tell,

The Editor

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Question to the readers...All 5 of you

Ok, so I don't think I've ever made any claim to be moral, per se. But I have a question for you guys. So, apparently, blogger has this ad sense thing where you can allow them to post those google related ads (like that pop up on your gmail) and then they pay you. I imagine it's next to nothing, but hey next to nothing is better than nothing. Is it really loserish to sign up for it? I mean, I like money. But, something really sits funny with me about allowing content I don't approve to pop up based on key words in our posts. What if Slunch ends up inadvertently advertising for Emily's book? Oh, the horrors. Thoughts?

Do tell,

The Editor

Follow-up to the Sloane/Emily Question

From you handy tipsters, we have aquired this info:
  1. The Original Publishers Marketplace Deal for Sloane: Vintage/Anchor associate publicity director Sloane Crosley's I WAS TOLD THERE'D BE CAKE, humorous essays about the glamor of inadequacy, to Jennifer Pooley at William Morrow, for publication in fall 2007, by Denise Shannon at Denise Shannon Literary Agency (NA). Apparently the book was originally more ettiquette themed, and at some point, the focus changed, as did the publisher.

  2. A claim the Emily's book went for $250k, and Sloane's for $75k.

  3. A claim that Sloane's book went for much less than $75k.
All I can verify is that the book was definitely in the five figure range, based on Leon Neyfakh's May Observer article. I think we can safely assume that Emily is at least raking in six figures more than Sloane. Although, the question remains, who will ultimately win? Sloane must have earned out her advance by now, and royalties should start coming in. Depending on what Emily's book does...well, she might never see more than her initial paycheck.

Do Tell,

The Editor


From Publishers Lunch:

Former editor of and author of a recent NYT Magazine cover article on her life online Emily Gould's AND THE HEART SAYS..."WHATEVER", called "an honest, searching and wry set of recollections that together weave a picture of what it's like to be a young person in New York City in the early 2000s," to Amber Qureshi at Free Press, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2010, by Melissa Flashman at Trident Media Group (NA).

Gawker says the deal was for a million. Gould (via Galleycat) denied the figure, and Ron reports that the deal may or may not be closer to $350k. Either way, Emily has a lot more money than I do. And that makes me angry. Does anyone know how much Sloane's book went for?

Do tell,

The Editor

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Woohoo, more books on NPR (dot org) is adding more book coverage to the site with reviews from Jessa Crispin (who never returns my emails for Bookslut, so god knows what will happen now), John Freeman (who I saw speak once and was wearing a purple shirt, so I think I like him), and Laurel Maury (who I know nothing about). Perhaps a reaction to Yen Cheong's NPR Book Watch?

According to senior supervising producer Joe Matazzoni, "can’t cover the book industry like PW or the New York Times. We’re here to try and point our audience to good books. Our audience identifies with our sensibility and looks to us for judgment and taste. We’re a filter.”

Hmm, filter? Are you trying to say that the reviewers at PW and the NYT don't have good "sensibility" or any "judgement and taste"? It seems like the purpose of any book review section is to be just that. To review books so you know what you're getting into before you buy it. And while, yes, PW reviews a lot of books, it's not as thought the Times just throws out book reviews willy-nilly. I'm pretty sure that there is a fairly lengthy consideration process. Plus, no offense, Joe - it is NPR DOT ORG - as in not the radio. I wonder if our bosses will be as excited about a listing on the website as they would be about an Alan Cheuse review or an interview with Terry Gross? Somehow, I doubt it.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Reif's Debut Just Blew Your Book Deal Away

From Publishers Lunch:

Reif Larsen's debut novel THE SELECTED WORKS OF T.S. SPIVET, the story of a 12-year old genius mapmaker from Montana, to Ann Godoff at Penguin Press, in a major deal, reportedly for approximately $900,000, at auction, for publication in summer 2009, by Denise Shannon at the Denise Shannon Literary Agency (US).

Sigh. I have to start working on my genius novel. I could really use $900, 000. Or, you know what? Ann Godoff - I will make you a deal. If you promise to publish my book, I promise that I will not take a penny more than $500k from you. I think that's fair, considering that you haven't read it and I haven't written it. But, I'm sure it will be good. Look at all the genius bits I write on here. I mean, how could it NOT succeed? And I already have this great platform. Oh, haven't you heard of slunch? It's immensely popular. Advertisers are clamouring to pay us, but you know, we have integrity and all. Sorry, American Apparel. You lose. (just kidding. American Apparel, if you want to give us money, it's totally cool! I'll even wear your stuff while I type. and talk about how soft your t-shirts are. call me!)


Because I think it's funny...

Literary Event of the Week - Bryant Park Reading Room:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Hosted by: Andy Christie

Ophira Eisenberg, I Killed: True Stories of the Road from American’s Top Comics
Alix Strauss, Have I Got a Guy for You: What Really Happens When Mom Fixes You Up
Eve Lederman, Shag's Little Book of Love: Dating, Mating, and Mischief Making
James Braly, Life in a Marital Institution

Join Andy Christie, creator of the ever-so-popular The Liar Show, for a special author edition of the critically acclaimed series. Four performers tell personal stories that will make you laugh, but listen carefully, because only three of them are telling the truth. For more information visit the website at

Friday, June 27, 2008

Speaking of Sloane...

Sloane dicusses if the NY publishing world is mean. Well, we are, but she handles it nicely...

Leaked: Sample from Emily Gould

Afterwards we sit on the fire escape half-naked and smoke a cigarette. Because he spends so much time working out, his smoking seems glamorous --louche and earned, not depressing and desperate like my ex-boyfriend's. He passes the cigarette to me and looks away, letting the sunset caress his profile and make him look like a still from a French movie, his face in sharp focus against the tenement blocks and the taller towers in the distance, dark against the streaky pink summer sky. I exhale into a breeze that feels like a caress. The day has cooled and now the air is the exact temperature as the blood that's slowing its race through my veins. I slump against him and feel his body stiffen almost imperceptibly. He has five more minutes and then he really has to leave for wrestling, and besides, sex never seems to relax him. Sometimes, I've noticed, he wakes up in the morning with balled fists.

Hmm. It's just so easy. Now, I know we've given Sloane a lot of shit in the past, but wow. This leaked excerpt from Emily Gould's book proposal just gave me a whole new level of respect for Ms. Crosely. At least the samples I read from Sloane (no, I never read the book. yes, I am a hypocrite) were amusingly self-deprecating. And maybe some of Emily stories (told through her TATTOOS. um, yeah.) will be as well. But if it's gonna be a whole book of prose written in the style of a 14 year old girl trying to be deep, well then. The air is the exact temperature as the blood that's slowing its race through my veins? I call bullshit. Was the air 98.6 degrees? 'cause that's by no means "cool." Or is Emily Gould's core body temperature freakishly low? Is that why her writing is so sluggish?

Also, any bets on who the boy is? Based on the pics of Gawker/Page 6 writer Joshua David Stein and his muscley torso, I'm going with Josh. Which means ex-boyfriend is probably poor Hugh. You remember Hugh, right? Of course you do! Emily talked all about him and how she flirted inappropriately with Josh while they were till together? In that NY Times Magazine piece? Remember? Of course you do.

Anyway, to quote Emily, "While nothing that has happened to me in and of itself has been that noteworthy: Lots of young people have lived in big cities, and have had an assortment of strange and ordinary jobs… there are some truths about doing these things and about writing about them online that haven't yet been expressed."

That's true, dear. Nothing has been noteworthy. Which is why people hated your piece in the Sunday Magazine. And which is why they will tear apart your book. And while perhaps there are "some truths" that haven't been expressed, that doesn't mean they should be.

--Paige Sexie

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Author Janet Evanovich is stuck wearing a hand brace after signing too many books. Maybe she should take tips from Shatner? Also, how do I get 1000 plus people to show up to my authors' events?

Ooo, also, on a completely unrelated note, Salman Rushdie was knighted! I bet Padma wishes she's stayed with him now. Then maybe she could be "Lady Lakshmi."


Things people spend money on

A first edition of Emma sold at auction for a lot of money. I can't read stories like this any more without remembering that whole Mark Hofmann thing. The crazy Mormon forgerer who basically defrauded the Morman church and a shit-ton of auction houses/experts. Oh, and then killed some people and almost got blown up himself trying to cover up all his forgeries. Awesome.

Anyway, turns out that auction houses can totally be shady and don't really "verify" stuff as well as they should, and don't really guarantee that the stuff they sell is legit - just that they think it is. Which is totally ridiculous. Not that I'm doubting that this 180,000 pound (was is the exchange rate now? that's probably like a million american dollars. we should just start burning our money or using it as wallpaper. christ) sale was not legit. It just reminds me of that story. I'm not really sure where I was going with that. Ah, well. Point is, it was the highest price ever paid for an Austen novel so "anonymous" must be a big fan. I wonder if he or she would pay me for my early edition VHS tape of Clueless. Maybe if I could get it signed by Alicia Silverstone or something.
Seriously, though. If you had 180,000 pounds, would you really spend it on a really old book? 'Cause I think I would spend it on something shiny and new that doesn't smell like mold. Just saying.